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As Tampa stores reopen, some require customers to wear face coverings


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic have made it mandatory for their employees to wear face coverings, some businesses are also requiring that customers take the same precaution.

“Everybody has their feeling about this virus,” Linda Crawford said. “I just want everybody to be safe in my store.”

Before browsing, trying on, and buying clothes at Scout & Molly’s Boutique in Hyde Park Village, Crawford’s customers must cover their mouth and nose.

Crawford told 8 On Your Side she’s ordered 100 complimentary disposable masks, in case someone leaves theirs at home.

“They’re not inexpensive because everybody is looking for them,” Crawford said.

The CDC recommendation says wearing a face covering can slow the spread by helping people who don’t know they have COVID-19 from passing on the virus to others.

“It’s really not that much of an inconvenience,” Kathy Anderson said.

Anderson said she wore a mask while grocery shopping at Fresh Market before it’s policy requesting all customers wear face coverings went into effect on April 10.

“They’ve always been cautious about maintaining a certain standard in everything they do,” Anderson said of the grocery store.

A Fresh Market spokesperson told 8 On Your Side they are not policing their policy to avoid confrontations between customers and employees.

Online shopping with Instacart or curbside pick-up are options for those unwilling to wear a face covering in the store.

Meanwhile, Costco and Whole Foods have also made wearing a mask mandatory for shoppers as well as major airlines hit hard during the pandemic are requiring that passengers put them on, too.

8 On Your Side has learned rideshare company Uber is making an announcement about masks and COVID-19 safety on Wednesday.

“I think its the right thing to do,” Crawford said, “but each owner has to make their own decision.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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